BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Monday, May 4, 2015

Fred shifts position; Aesculus x carnea; visiting this year

Fred, currently the dominant male hummingbird at the Baiting Hollow sanctuary, sits on a twig watching for intruders. Near the start of the movie he shifts his position by 180 degrees, but to do so he uses his wings briefly to lift off and adopt the new stance: hummingbirds cannot walk at all. Indeed when first seen by Europeans they were thought to be legless, and this group (technically an Order, which also includes their close relatives the swifts) is still called the "Apodiformes', which means footless.


Aesculus x carnea is a cross between Aesculus pavia (the red buckeye, one of the best hummingbird trees for the North East, and A. hippocastanum, the horse chestnut. It has magnificent spikes of pink flowers which attract bees (you see one in this movie) and, supposedly, hummingbirds. Recently I picked up an A. x carnea at a local nursery. For the moment I will leave it in its pot, positioned in a prominent place where I hope it will attract the attention of Fred, Pete and newly arriving hummers, and earn at least one star in my hummer-friendly rating scale. However I'm not optimistic: the feeders are the only 4-star attraction. 

I've updated the right column of this blog to explain how you can visit the sanctuary this year. Please read carefully. It's the same "slot" system as last year. It's a bit of a hassle for all concerned but it does ensure controlled, very limited, traffic on the long private road access to the sanctuary. 


  1. A small Aesculus pavia I picked up last fall already has a flower bud. No hummers here yet but it's nice to know they're getting good care there.

  2. Hummer showed up today in Stony Brook. Hooray!

  3. Hummingbirds both male and female in Ridge. What a blessing. True sign of spring